Update from Buffalo River Watershed Alliance—July 21, 2014
Your comments are needed on proposed changes to Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission Regulation 6 to include notification procedures whenever an applicant files a Notice of Intent to apply for a General Permit for a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation.
These changes are proposed by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality and are separate from the changes proposed to Regulations 5 and 6 to ban any new large or medium pig CAFOs in the Buffalo River Watershed. The proposed changes are for the notification procedures under the Reg. 6 General Permit and would impact all types of CAFOs statewide.
BRWA supports these proposed changes, but recommends the following additions:
• language under 6.207(A) specifying that "written and published notification would be issued no more than 30 days prior to submission of the NOI”
• that the Arkansas Dept. of Health be included in the list of entities to be notified
• that where a facility is to be located in the watershed of a national park the National Park Service be notified
To see comments that have already been submitted Go Here.
All rulemaking documents for the proposed changes can be found here.
USGS Real Time Water Monitoring
There are 3 monitoring stations, one located just below C&H on Big Creek and another at Carver near the confluence of Big Creek and Buffalo River. These stations provide real-time data for flow, nitrate, precipitation, etc
Mt Judea Station, downstream from C&H
Mt Judea Nitrate Sensor, below C&H
Big Creek at Carver Station, near confluence with Buffalo River
Three reports from the 2014 Annual Research and Watershed Conference:
Sustainable Management of Nutrients on the C & H Farm in Big Creek Watershed by Dr. Sharpley
The U of A research team reported on data obtained so far including disturbingly high E. coli counts during storm events, the results of ground penetrating radar, and pictures of monitoring sites established to date. Mention was made of the possibility that the team will recommend other management strategies. It would be reasonable to assume that such measures are indicated because there are potential problems with this “state of the art” facility. To see slides from the presentation click here.
Water Quality Characterization of Big Creek by NPS Aquatic Biologist Feron Usrey
The Buffalo National River staff are monitoring water quality due to concerns over visitor health and safety and environmental impact. E. coli counts and dissolved oxygen data in the Big Creek area have, on occasion been sufficiently negative to cause the Park Service to develop a
health advisory system for Big Creek and other WQ sites with a focus upon recreation advisories and potential river closures. It should be noted there have already been higher E. coli counts that make swimming unsafe near Big Creek. To see the data and the full Powerpoint click here.
Karst Hydrogeology of Big Creek Basin by Dr Brahana
Van Brahana's presentation emphasized the fact that any assessment of environmental risk requires a thorough study prior to action. Van stated this was not done in the case of C & H Hog Farm. Van stressed the importance of open communication between all stakeholders. Interaction should be based on the utilization of science, and not on gerrymandering and politics. Van said the current effort to make C & H Hog Farm sustainable needs justification. For details click here.
Note: All of the documents/links for USGS and conference reports are posted on the website and so much more.